Soc. of Aging and Death

Topics: Medicare, Retirement, Old age Pages: 24 (7412 words) Published: April 24, 2012
Review Sheet - Sociology 4113 - Exam III

Ch. 12 p 474-496
ch. 16p. 671-697
ch. 17
ch.12 p. 518
ch. 16 p. 697 - 708

Work and Retirement

Work and “role continuity” vs. “role discontinuity.” Work ethic was an important part of our socialization process “adults are supposed to do something productive”. The value placed on work and paid productivity in our society shapes how individuals approach employment and retirement.

Role theory – one of the earliest attempts to explain how individuals adjust to aging. Such roles identify and describe a personas a social being and are the basis of self concept and identity

role continuity – series or roles people are expected to enter at various stages of their lives – roles early in life are designed to prepare them for the roles they are supposed to take on as they get older – pre industrial settings. early in life define roles that one assume early in life help them as they take on roles as they get older.

Role discontinuity – what is learned at one age may be useless of conflict with a subsequent period in ones life – example: learning to be productive in the workplace may be antithetical to adjusting to more ambiguous roles in retirement.

The role of Christianity in our changing attitudes toward work (including the positions of St. Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, and John Calvin).

Early Catholic Church- if everyone works then what they produce is the ability to share with other people the act of giving/assisting people in need. So there is a need to work to afford the help to others. The early catholic churches attitude toward work ethic(Church began to change peoples attitudes towards work. priest were expected to go out and till fields, etc. the churches doctrine is that if everyone works, including priests alongside parishners, then everyone can help everyone in need.

St. Thomas Aquinas- created hierarchy of occupations. and he considered some acceptable and some not acceptable. Among the acceptable occupations were: agriculture and handicrafts. Not acceptable: commerce (buying wholesale and selling retail) and money lenders.

Martin Luther- upward social mobility not acceptable because God in his wisdom had placed people where he wanted them, so to aspire to move up was not godly. To change the natural order of where a person is placed
. reiterated what Aquinas had to say. Added to it the idea that upward social mobility was not acceptable because God had placed people in the position in life where they belonged and he wanted them. Believed it was ungodly for people to want to change that natural order or want to better their lives.

John Calvin- predestination- before people are born the decision of hell or heaven was already made, living the ascetic life- hard work. Calvinist believed that if they were predestined to go to heaven they would live an ascetic life. Ascetism became a guidepost that directed people on how to live the kind of life of those that had been predestined to go to heaven. Hard work was most important and on top of list. Thriftiness, avoidance of fleshy pleasures, sobriety, (conservative) are also on the list. Upward social mobility was a good thing (The American Dream).

M. Weber- visionary founding father of soc. Published “the protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism”- claimed that Calvinists true believers of predestination; Upward social mobility good, want children to be more financially stable than parents

Max Weber and The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.

Weber's approach connects the emergence of some Protestant religions with the psychological changes necessary to allow for the development of the spirit of capitalism. The Protestant idea of a calling, with worldly asceticism is an independent force, one which was not created by the change in institutions and structures (e.g. money, trade, commerce, etc.) but emerged entirely separately as an unintended...
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